“Developed” using RawTherapee

I’m still “having fun” with our server, and with some of the software on it. Not much time for music, photography, or any other hobby. So I thought I’d show a photo which I took lately when I had the 50mm macro lens on my camera to “scan” some negatives (from Zuleikha’s films). And while I had RawTherapee open on my Linux box, I decided to use that to make a jpg out of the raw file from the camera. So here’s Tuna from last Sunday or so:

7e3_9291589-tuna
Tuna the cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2019

Love the colours in this one. A good contrast between the cat and the sofa. Oh, and I cropped it into 3:2 like all the “scans” I made from Zuleikha’s films.

As always, thanks for viewing, and for reading.

3rd party planned outage

If you are reading this blog since a while then you probably know that I’m hosting almost all of my photos on Flickr. I have a paid account with them of the old sort, which gives me unlimited storage (an offer which doesn’t exist anymore since a few years).

Flickr was bought by Smugmug, and they’re finally moving all content from Yahoo’s servers and infrastructure to Smugmug’s hosting provider which is Amazon AWS. My pictures will move into the cloud…

This all will happen on Thursday 12am GMT which means 1400 CEST, and it will last for maybe 12 hours. Here’s what’s written in Flickr’s public announcement:

On May 22, 2019, Flickr will be down for planned maintenance for about 12 hours starting at 5pm PDT (that’s 8pm EDT or 12am GMT on May 23).

This will of course lead to the fact that you won’t see most of my photos on this page for about 12 hours, and so I’ll have to apologise for this.

A screenshot of my stats at Flickr, before they move everything…

As always, thanks for reading.

Links to Jason, for colleagues, friends, and family

At LinuxMusicians, we have some really good producers (like for instance user ‘singforme’ and/or ‘bluebell’). And in this thread on LM, one of them pointed me to an article written by Jason Evangelho for Forbes, here.

That article is about UbuntuStudio, which Zuleikha was using until recently (she’s now running the KXStudio stuff on a ‘normal’ Ubuntu on what used to be Mitchie’s Dell notebook, now hers). The article also covers the Jack Audio Connection Kit, and Ubuntu Studio Controls, which together bring a bit of nice automation into the game, taking out some complex steps of setting up a productive audio environment on a PC. As Jason concludes in his article:

I tried Ubuntu Studio 18.04 last year in a short-lived attempt to see if it could replace my macOS + Logic Pro workflow (my last hurdle to using Linux full time), and I honestly walked away a bit disappointed. But 19.04 is shaping up to worthy of a second chance. You’ll have my thoughts when the final version releases this Spring.

But so far this is interesting for musicians and/or creative people only (which covers some of my own family, but not many other people). So if you’re in this ‘other people’ group, stay with me just a little bit longer, because the other interesting finding in his article on Forbes were links to Jason’s own site Linux For Everyone, and to his music on Soundcloud.

And while Jason’s music might be interesting to you or not, I’ve read just one article on his site called “Ditch Dropbox: Create A Personal Home Backup Server With Raspberry Pi 3” which made me write this link collection, and recommending it to colleagues and friends (who aren’t musicians or other creatives) as well.

What Jason is describing there is simply how to set up a small and low cost home server based on Linux which everyone could use, together with some useful stuff like apps for your desktop, and your Android or iOS device to make use of it all – without having to touch a command line even once. He shows how to sync your PC and your phone with that small server automatically using NextCloud, so you have basically replaced Dropbox or any other commercial service provider (you have to read some additional stuff on how to open ports on your router, or to connect to your home from outside via DynDNS-like services if you haven’t done so, but that’s stuff for another article).

So at this point, Jason concludes:

Wait A Minute….
Did we just setup a Linux-based file server without using the command line once? Yes. Yes we did.

Thanks for reading.

I know I have some colleagues who are interested in just this. And I don’t know about you, but I am interested in something like this myself. And besides, I’ll go on reading Jason’s other stuff as well, so I have set up an RSS-bookmark to his site, so that I can see new headlines when he comes up with new articles. So, in a nutshell, I consider this recommended reading for everyone who’s an admin of their own home network. You. Me. Everyone.

P.S.: Jason’s articles on Forbes are good reads as well. I’ve short-scanned only the last 2 months or so, and found these three very interesting ones:

I Can’t Believe I’m Writing This Linux Article About Loving The Xfce Desktop Environment

Warning: Internet Explorer Just Became A Silent But Serious Threat To Every Windows User

Here’s The Shocking Reality Of Completely Blocking Google From Your Life

Like I said/wrote: interesting (tho he still is new to the Linux desktop experience, but this might apply to you as well, right?). As always, thanks for your interest, and for reading.

Statistics at year’s end

For whatever it might be worth, here are my website stats over this year (with today not being over, so this last day of the year is missing):

Usage statistics for wolfgang.lonien.de

I don’t know if my joining of Wikiloops had anything to do with the increase you are seeing, but since I joined in February and returned from my first members’ meeting in September, I guess that yes, some came and looked (and listened) because of the music.

And all in all it’s pretty impressive. Over 400,000 visits a year with an average of over 1,000 a day means that more than each one and a half minute someone from somewhere is looking at my website. I haven’t checked how many bots (like the infamous Google search) are part of this, and yes, it would be easy to do with simply “drilling in” and following the links, but I’m not really that interested in all that stuff.

Anyway, year’s end is the time to say thanks – so I thank all readers for their interest. Have a good new year 2019, and thanks again for visiting, reading, listening, and whatever.

Cheers, and to a happy 2019!

Wow. This really works…

Some 3 months ago I’ve finally set up encryption on this server again, using the relatively new LetsEncrypt certificates and routines.

And because it’s now almost 3 months ago and I knew that these certificates would expire, I assumed that I still had to tweak a bit, and to interact to keep it going.

But looking at those details of the green lock symbol from my Firefox now showed me this:

How cool. Automagically renewed certs, obviously valid until January now. I’ll keep checking, but what a relief. And somehow I must have done it correctly 🙂

Gonna support Richard

I just discovered and then joined wikiloops at the beginning of this year (2018). And I will become a supporting member as soon as I’m back home today. Here’s Richard, the founder of this cool project:

See it like this: it’s like your rehearsal room for which you pay a low monthly rent. But into this rehearsal room come people from all over the world, and they sit down and play and sing and do great stuff. Now if that isn’t fun then I don’t know what would be.

I played along my first track yesterday, and it really is a lot of fun!

Thanks for your awesome and continued work, Richard!

P.S.: rather than explaining what this is all about, watch this:

– and it even has parts of my name 🙂

Enjoy. And join us if you’re a musician, too!

Recommended: Scott’s Bass Lessons

From time to time I unsubscribe from all Youtube channels (except my wife’s of course). But now that I bought a bass, I re-subscribed to Scott Devine, who can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/devinebass
http://www.scottsbasslessons.com/

Here’s an interview with him:

http://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2015/06/scott-devine-using-his-bass-superpowers-for-good-bass-musician-magazine-june-2015-issue/

Thinking of also joining his academy for 14$/month – that’s way cheaper than any real music school, and after my 35-year- (or so) hiatus, I probably need something like proper training.

Here’s the first freebie of his which I found interesting enough:

So I went and subscribed to his website for free, and downloaded the backing track to that lesson. It came as an .mp3 file recorded with a sample rate of 44.1kHz, so I had to convert it (using Audacity) to 48kHz and a .wav file to have Ardour accept it with my current settings.

Then I followed his advice about first playing root notes (and fifths) only – still made some “errors” (like playing the 6 on a 5 chord, or an ‘a’ instead of a ‘g’), but it’s still fun to have a nicely played II-V-I chord progression. Will keep my busy for some time, until my fingers get used to the quite high string tension of those Fender® USA Bass 7250ML, NPS, (.045-.100 Gauges) roundwound strings (as listed on the instrument’s page).

So here’s my first attempt on it:

Oh, and to another problem I’ve had until a few minutes ago:

Couldn’t upload .ogg files, or .wav, the only file type which worked in the past was .mp3. Which seemed a bit strange for a free software package like WordPress, because if one of these formats isn’t a “free” one, then it’s .mp3. So I searched around for the error message on their site, and found this new plugin which isn’t integrated yet into the current 4.8 version of WordPress. “Lord of the Files: Enhanced Upload Security“, what a cool name! Of course I thanked the developers, and gave proper feedback (which is the least I could do)…

Anyway. As always, thanks for reading, viewing, and/or listening!

Back after some short maintenance tasks

Sunday afternoon I started upgrading our server, which until then was still running Debian 7.x “Wheezy”. And that will become obsolete soon – when Stretch will be released, the current 8.x “Jessie” will change its status to “oldstable”, and the current oldstable – Wheezy – will reach its end of (supported) life.

So we had to update sooner or later anyway, and a Sunday afternoon seemed like a good idea. Only that it took much longer than I thought; sometimes newer software (like Apache 2.4 instead of 2.2) does behave quite differently from what you’re used to, and new plugins and other server software also had to be learned.

But ok; we’re back, and even with a nice new layout – today, WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan” was released, and with it came what you see here: a brand new Twenty Seventeen theme which looks really pretty if you ask me. Of course you can customize it to your heart’s desires, which is what Zuleikha is doing right now. Me, I’m slower. I have to take in what I’m offered, and consider what’s good and what’s not, so I’ll leave it like that for the moment.

I still have to do some configuration jobs on the server before I can think about my site’s design. But that will be considered, too. For the moment, I’m happy with it as it is.

And as always (some things never change): thanks for reading.

Update, from 21:30h: Ok; i did go on and change the header image to one that I took. This is the Youth Hostel in Mittenwald, Bavaria, which lays beautifully on some hill between the Wetterstein and Karwendel mountains. I was out with my Olympus E-PL1 camera which had Mitchie’s Panasonic Lumix 20mm/1.7 lens mounted. Took this one on August 16th of 2013 during the sunset at f/8, and cropped and resized it here to 2000×1200 pixels which is the standard blog header image size for the WordPress Twenty Seventeen theme. Nothing else changed on the theme so far.

Thanks for viewing.

lonien.de is 15. Or was it 16?

Today I was working on our server a bit, updating and checking things, and everything runs smoothly. I was wondering about the past a bit while I did all this, and so I checked.

Netcraft first “saw” us in the year 2000, which means that I used Netcraft’s services to check on us. The Internet Archive, and its Wayback Machine still have some stuff starting from 2001, and our site looked like this, or like that. I also had my own hosting company during 2001, called “fairhosting.de”, but nothing much of it is left, and that was later taken by domain grabbers. From 2005 Netcraft’s site saw us hosted by other companies.

So while the oldest history might be from early 2000, I think I actually registered the domain in 1999 – would have to check with Denic to find out. And, as I wrote on one of these early pages, the internet as we know it now was barely 10 years old (that means the mouse-clickable web, some other stuff like internet news is older).

Fifteen years only, and even less since people started to stare at small screens while walking the cities. Feels much longer tho – but imagine how life was before that (hint: it wasn’t worse).

Thanks for reading.